Dana Suskind

Professor, Pediatrics and Surgery



Dana Suskind, MD is Co-Director of the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health,
Professor of Surgery at the University of Chicago, Director of the Pediatric Cochlear Implant
Program, and Founder and Director of Thirty Million Words (TMW). Dr. Suskind is also author of Thirty Million Words: Building A Child’s Brain, (Dutton, September 2015). Based on scientific
research that shows the critical importance of early language exposure on the developing
child, TMW helps parents, caregivers, and practitioners harness the power of their language to build children’s brains and shape their futures. In the 9 years since its inception, TMW has
reached over 3000 families in Chicago alone, with many more cities and municipalities
requesting to launch TMW’s suite of interventions community-wide. This widespread interest led Dr. Suskind to establish the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health. The TMW Center aspires to create a population-level shift in knowledge and behavior of parents and caregivers to optimize the foundational brain development in children, birth to five years of age, particularly those born into poverty. Dr. Suskind’s research is funded by the PNC Foundation, the Hemera Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the McCormick Foundation, among other sources. Among other accolades, Dr. Suskind has received the John D. Arnold Award for Sustained Excellence from the Pritzker School of Medicine, and a Gray Humanitarian Award from the Society for Ear, Nose, and Throat Advances in Children.


Selected Publications

List, J.A., Samek, A., & Suskind, D.L. (2018). Combining Behavioral Economics and Field Experiments to Reimagine Early Childhood Education. Behavioral Public Policy (In press).

Al-Ubaydli, O., List, J. A., & Suskind, D. L. (2017). What can we learn from experiments? Understanding the threats to the scalability of experimental results. American Economic Review, 107(5), 282-286. 

Suskind, D. L., Leung, C. Y. Y., Webber, R. J., Hundertmark, A. C., Leffel, K. R., Fuenmayor Rivas, I. E., & Grobman, W. A. (2017). Educating parents about infant language development: A randomized controlled trial. Clinical Pediatrics.

Al-Ubaydli, O., List, J. A., LoRe, D., & Suskind, D. (2017). Scaling for economists: Lessons from the non-adherence problem in the medical literature. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31(4), 125-144.

Suskind, D. L., Leffel, K. R., Graf, E., Hernandez, M. W., Gunderson, E. A., Sapolich, S. G., & Levine, S. C. (2016). A parent-directed language intervention for children of low socioeconomic status: a randomized controlled pilot study. Journal of child language, 43(02), 366-406.

Sacks, C., Shay, S., Repplinger, L., Leffel, K. R., Sapolich, S. G., Suskind, E., …& Suskind, D. (2014). Pilot testing of a parent-directed intervention (Project ASPIRE) for underserved children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 30(1), 91-102.

Suskind, D., Leffel, K. R., Hernandez, M. W., Sapolich, S. G., Suskind, E., Kirkham, E., & Meehan, P. (2013). An exploratory study of “Quantitative Linguistic Feedback” effect of LENA feedback on adult language production. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 34(4), 199-209.

Su, S., Baroody, F. M., Kohrman, M., & Suskind, D. (2004). A comparison of polysomnography and a portable home sleep study in the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, 131(6), 844-850.



Click here to download a copy of Dana Suskind’s CV.